Teens warn of dangers of workout supplements

26 Mar


By Gracie Clough, Bond University Journalism Student

Two Gold Coast teenagers have warned other boys of the dangers of pre-workout supplements after being hit with negative side effects.

Jesse Clough, a 17-year-old student at The Southport School,  said he became concerned about the effects of over-the-counter supplements after some bad experiences.

“I like taking supplements to improve my performance at the gym, so I started taking a pre-workout called Dedicated but experienced negative side effects,” Jesse said.

“I researched Dedicated thoroughly, yet it wasn’t suitable for me as I experienced heavy mood swings, became short-tempered and could not focus at school.

“The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) banned an ingredient in Dedicated, which concerns me because full-grown professional athletes aren’t allowed to take it yet a 14-year-old can walk into a supplement store and buy it.”

Fellow student Zachary McFarlane, 17, said  he has taken pre-workout supplements to increase focus at the gym, but later experienced extreme energy losses.

I steer clear of highly caffeinated pre-workouts because the caffeine crash can sometimes last as long as three to four hours,” Zachary said.

“An issue with pre-workout is that because it contains high levels of caffeine it can become addictive to an extent, incentivizing people to take more.

“It is essential to always read the labels of the supplements and research the background of the company as there have been many cases of banned substances lately.”

Paul Upfield, head of the Burleigh Bears Strength and Conditioning Rehabilitation and a former National Rugby League  player,  said that pre-workouts are unnecessary for teenage boys and can cause health issues.

The pre-workouts are used to get an edge physically but they are just an inadequate shortcut to results that often cause negative side effects such as heart problems,” Paul said.  

“I recommend that young guys who workout should have a natural diet with plenty of meat, vegetables and fruits.

“The monitoring and education of pre-workouts and other products is certainly not readily available for the young guys.”

ASADA banned Dedicated because it contains the ingredient of dimethylbutylamine (DMBA), which is synthetic and untested in humans.

DMBA has been found in at least 12 other supplements however, products containing DMBA are still legal to buy.  

For more information about pre-workout and other supplements visit http://www.asada.gov.au/index.html  


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